The Sacramento Bee caught up with the talented, erratic young center at Cousins’ basketball camp and attempted to pick his brain about the Kings’ new owner, general manager and coach. After a pause, Cousins offered a clumsy “no comment,” followed by a chuckle and the rolling of his eyes.
Cousins, the Bee reports, is simply following the orders of his agent to avoid comment on the Kings while they push for a max extension or a trade before he begins the final season of his rookie contract.
The Mavs have long been enamored by the skilled, 6-foot-11, 270-pound Cousins’ immense talent. They made several attempts to try to pry him from the Kings last season, when the unstable ownership situation essentially kept Cousins off the trade market.
The Mavs would certainly be interested in bringing Cousins to Dallas this summer in the likely event that they don’t land Dwight Howard. The problem: What package could the Mavs offer Sacramento that could possibly persuade new Kings general manager Pete D’Alessandro to pull the trigger on a trade?
The Kings are well under the salary camp and don’t have any contracts on the books that are so bad that they’d be desperate to dump them in a deal. Maybe they’d like to unload John Salmons ($7.6 million next season with a $1 million buyout for 2014-15) or Marcus Thornton ($16.6 million over the next two seasons), but they aren’t going to give up Cousins just to get rid of those guys’ contracts.
The Mavs can’t trade future picks because of their protected first-rounder that’s still floating around (now Oklahoma City’s property) from the Lamar Odom deal/debacle.
Cousins, despite his on-court character issues, has value. Guys with that size and skill set don't come along very often. If the Kings shop him – and maybe even if they don’t – they will get intriguing offers that feature young talent and/or attractive draft picks.
At the moment, they Mavs don’t have the assets to make that kind of offer. Never say never, but it certainly seems that the Mavs would have to get at least one more team involved in the deal to come up with a proposal that could feasibly bring Cousins to Dallas.
It's a safe bet that Mark Cuban has plugged in all sorts of scenarios on his spreadsheets. It's a long shot that Cousins actually ends up in Dallas this summer.